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Stop! Don't do it! Don't take that roll of holiday/baby's first birthday/nan and grandad's wedding anniversary film to Jessops.
I'll tell you why.
I used to work in Jessops (post graduating, loans up to my elbows and those necessary bills to pay, then your dignity has to tumble), and although I have fond memories of my time there, I plead with you to think twice before you pop into your local store to get your films developed.
When I first joined, I believed that I would be working for a professional company (I had my degree show pictures developed and enlarged with Jessops, after losing a few films at Boots, and they were perfect), but my experience as a consumer with them was prior to a change in management and a change in shop priorities.
I was working at one of their leading stores (no names, no addresses), supposedly a flagship for their services and equipment. The training was thorough, I'll give them that much, but much to my astonishment, I was told by my direct manager that Jessops was not a 'professional' company, nor did it wish to attract that sort of clientele. Jessops was here to supply the masses; So no waxing lyrically on the pros and cons of selenium toners, no discussion on the wonders of Gitzo tripods - sell Jessops products and sell them fast.
Fair enough, I suppose, just another money orientated organization that wasn't particularly interested in its customers, that's not so unusual in this day and age. What guiled me even further was Jessops' attitude to its staff: Jessops needed to employ cheaply, so a lot of the staff were (still are) students and first job post-graduates. Nothing wrong with that, as it keeps the unemployment figures down and subsidizes those who have to pay college fees. What was worrying that between the time I arrived and the time I left (about a year and a half), I had seen about fifty part-time members of staff come and go. I had also seen senior members of staff dismissed, as they were too expensive, and their posts were filled by the fore mentioned unexperienced staff. I inquired into several of my work mates wages, and was surprised to learn that some of the foreign, part-time student employees were working for pittance.
A lot of people comment on the photographic machinery being to blame for poor quality prints at Jessops: If you are unwilling to pay for hand-prints, then you have very little option than to have your prints done on the machine; These machines are standard across the high street stores, and yet the quality differs. Why? Because, just like any other machine, it has to be programmed by a human, and if you have a worker who doesn't know how to choose the right settings (the settings are done by the sort of film you have i.e. Kodak 400 iso), or set the colour balance, then you WILL get low quality prints. The worker is to blame and not the machine. The same is true of the developing tanks; If they are not cleaned, then residue chemistry can effect your negatives, if they are not set at the right temperature etc. etc. etc. Part-time workers who have only worked in a profession for a short time, just might be the kind of worker that would make these sort of mistakes.
Jessops has cornered the market of the amateur photographer, and I believe that the prices for equipment are extremely competitive; Some of the staff there are incredibly knowledgeable (If they are allowed to talk to you), and they have an absolutely superior lens sell once a year, but please, if you have valuable memories on your film, waiting to be developed, then spend the time and money to find a true professional company near you, just don’t trust them into the hands of Jessops.
"if you have valuable memories on your film, waiting to be developed, then spend the time and money to find a true professional company near you, just don’t trust them into the hands of Jessops"
I agree with this. I learnt the hard way when they lost four precious films.
anonymili 13.08.2009 18:24
Sorry for the rating but this is supposed to be a review about Jessops as a store not as an employer.
peterkinxl5 19.12.2004 11:20
I worked for Jessops for over 13 years before leaving in 2000. I would agree that the staff levels are too low and the pro sales staff are far fewer than before.Maybe that has somthing to do with their pay...and I don't think it's because it's too high. I told one of Diectors this at a meeting before I left but he just wanted to have his cake and eat it...which even he couldn't do.
I would disagree with the cooments on D+P though. Despite my exit, their Diamond Laser service is awesome and worth every penny!"